Fair Housing: Before or After?
It was a big week for the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court). Some long awaited decisions were delivered, including a ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act, a ruling recognizing same-sex marriages, and a ruling recognizing a limited cause of action for disparate impact claims under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). Regardless of opinions or politics, it was clearly a monumental week for the Court. The focus of this article deals with the last case mentioned which analyzed the validity of certain claims under the FHA. On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case entitled (Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Community Project, Inc., et al.), examining the question of whether “disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act….”(576 U.S.____(2015)). In other words, is it appropriate for the Court to consider claims alleging discrimination where a particular statute, rule, business policy or practice appears neutral on its face; but application appears to create an “after-the-fact” discriminatory effect or disparate impact on members of a protected class? Read more .
Six legal case studies are covered in this issue. Read more .
Real Estate Disciplines. Among the recent disciplinary actions taken by the Real Estate Division of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR): 1) A real estate managing broker license was indefinitely suspended and fined $5,000 for failure to comply with Department requests. 2) A real estate managing broker license and real estate broker corporation license were both indefinitely suspended for a minimum of two years for holding out that they were permitted to practice as a Community Association Manager while not holding a license for same and for mismanaging and improperly withdrawing from client accounts. Read more 
6 Things You Need to Know about the New Integrated Disclosure Rules. The new Integrated Disclosure rule, or TRID, as the industry refers to it, will change the process of borrowing to buy a home and thus will directly impact how Illinois brokers get from contract to closing. Here are six things to know about the new rules.
1. Implementation date now set for October 3rd
2. New “Loan Estimate” form replaces initial truth-in-lending and Good Faith Estimate forms
3. Loan Estimate form must be delivered to consumer within three business days of their application for a loan
4. Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification letters are still allowed
5. New “Closing Disclosure” form replaces final truth-in-lending disclosure and HUD-1 form
6. New rules could cause delay in closings. Read more .
UPDATE: Classification of Licensees as Independent Contractors. In May’s edition of the D.R. Legal News  we alerted you to the existence of a Massachusetts lawsuit that could have an impact on whether agents can continue to be classified as independent contractors for employment law purposes. On June 3, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Court resolved that lawsuit by rendering a decision that held that agents can still be properly categorized as independent contractors in Massachusetts. Read more .
Secrets to No Error Transactions. IAR Transaction Helpline Attorney Jeffrey T. Baker coached REALTORS® on having “No Error Transactions” during his presentation at MRED Palooza on June. Here are the session’s top takeaways for sellers’ brokers, buyers’ brokers. Read more .
A Resource to Local Government. In mid-June, IAR sent out the most recent edition of On Common Ground in Illinois newsletter to municipal officials. This newsletter which keeps local officials informed about trends in legislation---state and local--as well as trends in the real estate market. The June edition covered the following topics: trends in senior housing; suggestions on crafting a fair and reasonable "crime-free housing" ordinance, and IAR's most recent Housing Price Forecast. The goal? REALTORS® can be a tremendous resource for local government and together we can work on issues affecting the local economy, homeowners and private property owners. We want to build relationships and partnerships to ward off burdensome regulations and excessive fees. Read more .
Why REALTORS® Focus Local. Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the U.S. At 6,963 that's 5.4 units (municipal, township and county government) for every 10,000 residents. Add special districts (parks, library, mosquito abatement, etc.) and some Illinois residents have up to 16 government agencies covering the area where they live. Candidates elected at the local government level often move on to state and federal office. If we can build allies and stop issues affecting real estate at the LOCAL level, we are better prepared to defend our issues at the STATE and FEDERAL levels. Plus, it costs less to make a difference in a local election. In the recent April 15 elections, IAR was involved at an unprecedented level through RVOICE funds, RPAC and Independent Expenditures (or IEs) and this local-focused trend is anticipated to continue. Read more .
Schedule a Visit from the IAR Member Outreach Team. Looking for a topic for your next office meeting or regional meeting? The IAR Member Outreach team is available to cover the latest legislative issues in play - local, state and national - as well as new laws, forms, RVOICE resources and RPAC. Call 1-800-752-3274 or IARaccess@iar.org .
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